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Controlling Wax Moth

Very rude awakening for yours truly. Done a lot wrong over the time and will probably continue to do so.
There has been a lot of chatter on this forum on deep freezing frames to kill wax moth and eggs.
I have a little chest freezer. I have some wax foundation frames been sitting around a few weeks since they were made and foundationed (politicians can muck with the words so can I :face_with_raised_eyebrow:) . Maybe wax moth has got to them and laid eggs? I will fix them good and give them a good freezing.

Fast forward 24 hours as I lift my very expensive wax foundation frames, which had been carefully assembled and crafted, from the freezer only to see them crumbling around me. 75% of the wax foundation just shattered and fell to the ground and not being as nimble as I once was I could not beat them to the bits to the ground.

Has this happened to you or you much more careful, have better technique or just blessed.
I am not inclined to put waxed foundation in the freezer again… maybe a case to switch to plastic foundation.

And No I didn’t see it coming but I should have. My bad.

Hi Busso, that’s what normally happens to wax foundation out of the freezer. I learned the hard way also.

Don’t be remotely worried about wax moth eggs in wax foundation. Especially if you will be adding the frame to a strong colony.

I think that the best thing to do is to keep the foundation wrapped up, with the frames wired up ready to go. Fit the foundation to the frames shortly prior to using them.


I have not put foundation in the freezer. just drawn comb. Never happens with comb, but I don’t know about foundation. :cry:

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I wouldn’t switch to plastic! I think this is a case of over-worrying- I don’t think you needed to freeze them at all. I may be wrong- but so far (touches wood) wax moths have been no real problem at all. they only seem to become a problem with weak or dying hives- or with frames left where moths can get to them. I have not noticed wax moths attacking little pieces of wax that I leave laying about- and I don’t think they are very interested in plain foundation?

As Jeff says the best thing is to fit foundation only immediately before you use it. I have had some frames ruined by leaving them in a shed during a heatwave where they all collapsed… Also if you put a frame into a weak hive- and the bees don’t build on it for ages- it can become wavy and not so good…

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Never had wax moth attack foundation. They generally like cocoons

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Well just a little side story.
It all started one day not so long back when Wife chases down and kills a moth. Wife is more paranoid than I that the moths will eat our clothes books or what ever. I just brushed that aside. Then next day there were a couple more moths which were duly hunted down and disposed of.

There was the “How are these moths getting in” to which I could only reply “I have no idea” as every door and window is insect screened.
Another day goes by and the quantity of moths seems to be increasing very quickly and the observation made by said Wife was “they seem to be coming from your study” To which I could only reply " I don’t know why". By now there was a full on invasion of wax moths.
Then as Wife mobilised all the heavy duty artillery and started an eradication program room by room the thought did occur to me " What if they were wax moths" I recant a story, I think by Jeff on wax moths in the house. So when I was able I started to investigate the study, there sitting on a shelf was a litre container nearly full of wax pieces I had collected from scraps. Looking inside was like looking at Google air into the heart of New York at peak 4’Oclock in the afternoon. There were a few fumigated moths, many hundreds of grubs grubbing around and while I could not see amongst the gunk, which looked like dark froth, no doubt there were billions of eggs.

So like Winnie the Poo I hummed a little "Lets get out of here " tune and subtly took my little pot of wax and out to the chest freezer and put it inside. I felt that there needed to be a little time to pass before confession, so I prepared a lovely lunch the next day and just remarked casually that I found the source of moths. All was forgiven and we are living happily ever after. Well unless I bring raw wax inside again that is.

So after that I was keen that the moths not attack my frames. I will just do it differently next time.


I’ve got my wax foundation frames in a cardboard box inside that is only loosely closed. Never had an issue with storing frames with wax foundation like they. Drawn comb stored like that… different story… Thankfully that was had a better seal so the moths didn’t escape.

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Thanks for sharing your experience because I could see myself doing that. I have some frozen to give my bees a jump start for the start of a second hive.

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Oh Dear what a funny tale. Yes wax moth do like scrapings and burr comb. Just as well that’s the only place they were.

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You can reassure SWMBO that wax moths do not eat clothes. Different kind of moth. :wink: